Human Embryo Hybrids

Posted on January 12, 2007  Comments (0)

Embryo hybrids are used to grow human stem cells (for a few days) in eggs from animals. Public debate on embryo hybrids

Allowing DNA from humans and animals to be mixed should be put to a public debate, a regulatory body has said.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which oversees embryo research and fertility treatment, said the research could fall under its remit and would not be prohibited by law after a meeting of experts on Wednesday.

Door left open for creation of hybrid embryos:

Two teams of British scientists have applied for licences to create “hybrid” embryos that would be about 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent animal to produce embryonic stem cells — the body’s building blocks that can grow into all other types of cells.

They want to use stem cells to understand and develop therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis, motor neurone disease and Huntington’s. The hybrid embryos would be destroyed within 14 days when they were no bigger than a pinhead.

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